Friday, July 31, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Chocolate Banana Smoothie)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Check out my upcoming themed schedule below:

Upcoming 2009 "Themed" Schedule
August 7- Appetizers & Snacks Edition
August 21- Salad Edition
September 4- Kid Friendly Meals Edition
September 18- Bread Edition
October 2- Sauce Edition

With the summer heat, I find myself craving smoothies! Oronzo and the kids enjoy them too. This smoothie recipe is one I found on a fun website appropriately named Smoothie Recipes.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

The chocolate banana smoothie recipe conbines to ingredients that are meant to be together, chocolate and bananas. If you ever wondered what a chocolate covered banana on a stick would taste like as a drink, then here is your answer.

Ingredients

1 1/2 banana cut into chunks and frozen
2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup or your favorite melted chocolate
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 cup of milk
ice (if needed to thicken it up)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender until bananas are really mixed and chocolate is swirled. Add ice cubes if you need to thicken it up! Now you have your chocolate and banana smoothie.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:49 AM
1 comments


Friday, July 24, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Healthy Eating Edition)


Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Healthy Eating edition!

I got some wonderful ideas from the Healthy Edition that I hosted last year but I'm hoping for me this year too!
So please, share your light and healthy recipes to help me and my family eat healthier! :)

The recipe I'm sharing I found on Mayoclinic.com! It makes a wonderful side dish for a healthy meal.

Steamed Summer Squash with warm leek vinaigrette


Ingredients

2 yellow crookneck squash, about 1/2 pound total weight
2 zucchini, about 1/2 pound total weight


For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, including tender green top, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable stock or broth
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preparation

Trim the stems from the yellow squash and zucchini. Halve lengthwise and then cut the halves crosswise on the diagonal into slices 1/2-inch thick. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, in a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and saute until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vegetable stock, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the yellow squash and zucchini, cover, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the squash to a warmed serving dish. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to mix. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info


Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories 63
Monounsaturated fat 3 g
Protein 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 5 g
Sodium 200 mg
Total fat 5 g Fiber 2 g
Saturated fat 1 g

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Healthy Eating edition recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:44 AM
3 comments


Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Leaving on a jet plane...heading home!
Finally, the day has arrived and I'm flying home!  I'm in the airport right now, waiting for the chance to board the first plane that will fly me towards home.

I'm praying that I do not experience any delayed or canceled flights on my way home because I'm sure anxious to see Snuggle Bug, Boo, and Oronzo!  I've missed them these past 8 days!

Ft. Walton Beach/Destin, FL is a beautiful area to visit, but I'm happy to be leaving and heading home!

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7:17 AM
6 comments


Friday, July 17, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Cinnamon Ants on Sticks)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Check out my upcoming themed schedule below:

Upcoming 2009 "Themed" Schedule
July 24- Healthy Edition
August 7- Appetizers & Snacks Edition
August 14- Salad Edition

This is a fun little snack that I found on on All Recipes.com. The kids and I really enjoy this. Oronzo...not so much. He dislikes celery.

Photo by: Tricia Jaeger

Cinnamon Ants on Sticks

Ingredients

1 large stalk celery, cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons raisins

Directions

1. Place the celery pieces on a clean surface, hollow part facing up, and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Spoon peanut butter into the hollow, and arrange raisins on top.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:30 AM
3 comments


Monday, July 13, 2009
Travel woes!
I really dread traveling on an airplane these days.  Today was a day of frustration that supported that dread!

I left my house at 7:00 AM to drive to the airport, park my car, check in my luggage, and go sit and wait by the gate for my 8:30 AM departure.

The first sign of trouble reared it's ugly head when the American Airlines gate agent told us at 8:10 AM that the maintenance crew had to look at the aircraft and there might be a slight delay.

8:40 AM, the maintenance crew has determined that there's a small fuel leak and it may need to be repaired, so expect further delays.

9:30 AM rolls around and we're told that another maintenance crew will have to drive in from a bigger city with replacement parts and it'd take them an hour and a half to two hours to get to our airport and then another couple of hours to actually repair the slight fuel leak.  Apparently there are no back-up jets to replace our broken one.

I immediately started requesting a different flight, only to be told that pretty much all other flights were overbooked up, with one cancelled, until at least their 2:40 PM.  So, I insisted that AA get me a flight out on a different airline.  

The gate agent found me a flight on Delta Airlines, departing at 12:30 PM, arriving at my final destination of Ft. Walton Beach airport at 9 PM (with a layover in Atlanta).  I wasn't thrilled with the change in plans, considering that I was supposed to arrive in Ft. Walton Beach at 4 PM, had all gone according to plan, but I took what I could get.

So, I had to exit security, get my checked bag from American Airlines baggage claim, go check in at the Delta ticket counter, go back through security, and wait about 2 hours to board the 12:30 PM flight.  Thankfully that flight left on time.

When I got to Atlanta and went to the gate that the Departures/Arrivals monitors instructed me to go to, I found out that the outgoing flight was going to be delayed 30 minutes.

In the course of waiting, we were shuffled between 2 different gates before Delta finally settled on the one our plane would leave out of.  

The delay ended up being 1 hour.

So, instead of arriving in Ft. Walton Beach, FL at 4 PM, I arrived at 10:15 PM!  I traveled a total of 14 hours today (thanks to delayed flights and long layovers), from leaving my house to arriving at my hotel.  14 hours to travel within the United States!  Incredible!  I have been beyond frustrated the entire day!!!

And I'm astonished at how the airlines are nickel and dimming their customers!  Delta was renting blankets for $3 (or maybe it was $5), selling headphones for $5, snacks and lunches for $5-$8, internet access in the air for $9 per flight, and movies could be purchased too.  I'm not sure what those cost because I was so inundated with their sales pitch for everything else that I finally just tuned them out by listening to my iPod!

So, let's see.  These days airline ticket prices are much higher than they were just a year ago, there are less flights to choose from, almost all flights are overbooked and if, Heaven forbid, your flight is cancelled, it takes an act of God to get onto another one (because all the other ones are overbooked and there's fewer flights to choose from).  And once you actually make it on the overpriced seat that you paid for, you have to be prepared to shell out even more money for every cotton picking thing!

It's no wonder fewer people are traveling during this recession.  

It's been a FRUSTRATING day to say the least!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Labels:

11:37 PM
7 comments


Saturday, July 11, 2009
A handful of fun pictures!
I thought I'd share some cute pics of the kids.

The other day I found some cute bug umbrellas on sale, so I picked two up for the kids.  Here they are trying them out one rainy evening this week.

Here they are, walking down the sidewalk with their matching umbrellas!

Here's little miss Boo trying to twirl her umbrella.  Yes, her hair is almost down to her waist and she's only 2 year & 5 months old!  Isn't it amazing!

Here's Snuggle Bug standing proud with his umbrella.  Notice the superhero cape that he's wearing? That was one of the best things I've ever made and Snuggle Bug wears it constantly still!

The past 2 months the kids have had private lessons at our house. Believe it our not, it's ended up being less expensive than the swim school we had Snuggle Bug going to for the past 2 years.

Up until now, both Snuggle Bug and Boo have been afraid of the water and rather reluctant to do what their swim instructor asks of them in the water.

But this weekend we had a breakthrough. Something clicked and now both kids are actually swimming independently in the pool for short distances! Hooray!  We're so excited!

Here are a couple of pictures of them swimming.

Snuggle Bug swimming to Oronzo.  He's even gotten brave enough to jump off the side of the pool and swim back to the steps!

Boo swimming out to Oronzo.  Can you believe she's already swimming short distances (about 8 feet at a time) at only 2 years old?!

I hope you enjoyed my little slideshow!

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8:26 PM
5 comments


Tuesday, July 07, 2009
A bit of progress on Boo's case.
We got a wee bit of good news about Boo’s case today! The CPS worker confirmed that Boo’s case file has officially been transferred from CPS to the adoption agency that is contracted to do all the adoptions for our state.

So, we got the severance ruling in March and it’s taken nearly 4 months for her case to be transferred to the adoption agency! It shouldn’t have taken this long, but apparently Boo has been in the system these past 24 months without CPS having a certified copy of her birth certificate or a copy of her social security card and the adoption agency wouldn’t accept her file without these documents in it. 

It took the CPS worker 4 months to get her hands on them, in large part because she had to send away for them in another state and because Boo’s legal name is so convoluted that it was listed one way on her birth certificate, another way on her social security card, and CPS had a third version of her full name given to them. How strange is that?!

Still no news on the appeals process. To our knowledge, Boo’s case has not gotten in front of the higher court of appeals for the final ruling. We have no idea when this will happen. We’re praying that it will happen soon so that we can finalize her adoption before the end of this year!

In our hearts and minds (and in those of our family and close friends), Boo is already a most valued member of our family. We just want the legal documents finalizing this so we can have this cloud of worry of the remote possibility of her being taken away from us removed from over our heads!

I tell you, on the day we finalize her adoption, there will be much rejoicing! I may even post full-on pictures of her and the rest of my little family celebrating that day for you all to see.

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4:17 PM
7 comments


Monday, July 06, 2009
This is what happens when a 4 year old is in possession of scissors.
Snuggle Bug has had kid scissors for over a year now.  He usually only uses them when supervised.  I've kept them in his top dresser drawer and thought nothing of it....until this past weekend when we woke up and found our couch cut up to shreds in several places!

Apparently Snuggle Bug decided the couch fabric needed cutting.  Oh, and he decided his mattress and his sheets needed cutting too.

I suspect this cutting frenzy was prompted by his fascination with my sewing (he likes to sit on a stool and watch me work at my cutting/sewing table).

Well, now I'm putting my hand-sewing skills to work.  I'm using transparent thread to repair the couch fabric.

His sheets I threw away.  His mattress I simply turned over (to hide the cut side) for now.  

As for his scissors, they've met with an untimely death.  Oronzo threw them in the garbage and said he won't get another set until he's about 40.

I guess I can be thankful it wasn't his hair or our leather furniture that he cut!

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10:20 PM
3 comments




Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Beautiful adoption video
Date Night Bliss
Family Rules and Values
In the swing of school
It's time for the kiddos to head back to school a...
Flying home for a nice, long visit!
Baby fix!
Easing back into blogging
A shocking phone call
1 year anniversary for Boo
























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